Editor’s Note: If you would like to read more pros and cons on voting for President Trump, further essays, each from a different perspective, can be found here, here, here, here, here and here. These articles and the one below reflect the views of the individual authors, not of the National Review editorial board as a whole.
Never Trumpers might be just hours away from what they have savored for years: Donald J. Trump’s political ambitions plummeting to Earth like incoming space debris. Since Trump’s far-slower escalator descent at his eponymous skyscraper in 2015, his foes on the center-right have moaned about his bombast, Twitter blasts, and even bad words.
Like the piercing sound of a diva’s aria, the president’s personality is not for everyone. But Never Trumpers and merely reluctant Republicans should ponder the reality of November 4 (or potentially December 4, given the Democrat-fueled mail-in-ballot mess) yielding a Joe Biden presidency and the deeply Democrat Congress that likely would ride in on his coattails. How would the next four years look under this new regime?
Tax hikes top Biden’s agenda. His promised repeal of the Trump/GOP Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would be the largest tax increase in American history — likely $4 trillion vacuumed from around the country into the Beltway. Biden will use the COVID-19 crisis to justify this jagged, bitter pill. Higher marginal tax rates, caps on itemized deductions, cuts in the capital-gains-tax shield, and death to Trump’s pro-minority Opportunity Zones would deliver the “dark winter” of which Biden speaks.
President Trump never was the deficit hawk of fiscally conservative dreams. And the COVID-19-related emergency spending that turned Friedmanites into Keynesians hardly helped. But Biden would unleash a Johnstown Flood of federal outlays and drown today’s taxpayers and future generations in debt. The hapless leaders of mismanaged Democratic states cannot wait for Uncle Joe to send money cascading their way — all the better to avoid modernization, privatization, competition, or other desperately needed 20th-century reforms. (21st-century reforms are too much to expect of Biden.) Governor Andrew Cuomo (D., N.Y.) recently said, “The ultimate size of any permanent reductions would depend in part on the availability of unrestricted federal aid.”
How about $2.13 average-per-gallon gasoline? Kiss it goodbye under Biden. His administration would hammer the fossil-fuel industry, not least fracking. Biden could honor his policy flip-flop and study fracking to death, rather than kill it outright. Regardless, the U.S. energy independence that President Trump secured would go the way of the Cadillac Eldorado convertible.
School choice could be erased as completely as yesterday’s lesson on a blackboard. Biden already has said “I am not a charter-school fan” and, if elected, “charter schools … are gone.” Students in the Washington, D.C., voucher program should learn all they can now. If elected, Biden promises to kill this highly effective alternative to D.C.’s expensive, corrupt, dangerous, failed government schools.
President Trump’s 242 constitutional jurists, including three Supreme Court justices, have left few vacancies for Biden to fill — for now. But any such nominations likely would give the Federalist Society the shakes. Of course, Democrats could create their own vacancies by packing the Supreme Court and lower benches and stuffing them with left-wing jurists. If Biden lacks a Democrat-led Senate’s lust for Court-packing, he will be too feeble to resist it.
Institution-busting Democrats also have the Electoral College in their crosshairs. Ditto the 100-seat Senate. They could add four reliably Democrat seats by turning Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico into states — never mind that 97 percent of Puerto Ricans rejected statehood in 2017.
Never Trump pro-lifers should get ready to see Planned Parenthood receive blank checks. Last year, Biden abandoned decades of support for the Hyde Amendment. This now frees him to channel federal dollars into that abattoir. Biden and Planned Parenthood would offer taxpayer-funded abortions anytime, anywhere, without apology, and with applause.
Given Biden’s thirst to ban “assault weapons” and “high-capacity magazines” and enact “common-sense gun-safety laws,” gun owners would be wise to keep their lawyers on speed dial. Democrats are more eager to battle lawful gun owners than to combat gun violence, as Chicago brutally confirms every weekend.
Overseas, Never Trumpers nibble their fingernails because Trump might not fit in with the Embassy Row set. Horrors! Even if Trump occasionally uses his oyster fork to spear a shrimp, his less frilly diplomacy has persuaded U.S. allies to contribute $130 billion to the West’s collective defense. Trump might not be the Davos crowd’s favorite statesman. But his muscular diplomacy persuaded Mexico to deploy Mexican soldiers to protect America from illegal-alien caravans. Isn’t that worth a few of Donald’s decibels?
Likewise, America’s enemies won’t confuse Trump for the dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. But they know he means business. Just ask ISIS. Their blood-soaked caliphate shrank from the size of two New Jerseys under Obama-Biden to something even smaller than a Jersey Mike’s sandwich. By December 2017, re-energized, U.S.-led, Trump-inspired forces blasted the Islamic State clean off the map.
The Balkans have become kinder and gentler, North Korea has stopped testing atomic bombs, and each month since August has convinced another Arab country to recognize that Israel exists. And all of this without landing boots on the ground. Despite dire warnings to the contrary, Dr. Donald Strangelove has become the peacemaker in chief. This explains Trump’s four nominations for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.
Biden Inc.’s business interests are intertwined with those of China’s Communist oligarchs. Thus, “the Big Guy” seems not bloody likely to continue Trump’s unprecedented hard line against the Middle Kingdom on trade violations, intellectual-property theft, and East Asian maritime abuses.
And what about Biden’s Cabinet? After all, personnel is policy. Visualize Treasury secretary Elizabeth Warren, Labor secretary Bernie Sanders, and EPA administrator Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Does anyone truly expect “moderate” Biden to resist the radical Left? The Squad, Pelosi, and a Democratic Senate would place Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and a zoo full of zany ideas on the Resolute desk and dare Biden to block those measures — if he still can lift his veto pen.
Recall that the far left remains suspicious of Biden, given his support of school segregation, his authorship of mass incarceration of millions of black Americans, his career-long coddling of white supremacists, and his handsy interactions with women. This leaves him vulnerable to a left-wing base that demolishes statues of leaders who have done far less. This dynamic makes Biden likelier to give the Cancelistas what they want, lest they turn him into the new “Donald Trump” and pound him relentlessly.
Even Trump’s most fervent fans wish he would spare himself grief by speaking more precisely. Biden referred to “predators” as he concocted his 1994 crime bill. So, Trump need not accuse Biden of saying “superpredators.” Among nine military ballots thrown in the garbage in Pennsylvania in September, seven were marked for Trump, but not “all of them.” Dialing it back a little would serve the president well, if he scores a second term.
As for Trump’s GOP critics, they should think very, very hard before they cast their ballots on Election Day, as Republicans usually do — and appropriately so. (What part of “the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November” is unclear?) Trump’s defeat might yield their much-craved “return to normal,” as network anchors calm down and congressional Democrats stop screaming “Russia! Russia! Russia!” Presumably, Trump’s Twitter machine would cool it, and his voice would fade into the background while he designs a beautiful, very special presidential library.
And, the invoice for this Never-Trumper dream come true would land in early 2021, as Trump’s GOP detractors discover that Joe Biden will not inaugurate a New Moderation. Instead, as Never Trumpers suffer buyers’ remorse, Biden will reveal himself as the gateway drug to even harder-left policies and personnel. These neo-Marxists will spend at least four years systematically dismembering everything that Never Trumpers have held sacred since their days in College Republicans.
Meditate deeply on that, then vote accordingly.